I laugh when I look back at things that seemed like such a big deal in the moment, but are soon forgotten. Like the time I tried to put in a sprinkler system in my yard. It seemed so simple and made perfect sense on paper, until I actually set about the task. After renting a ditch witch (that I didn’t even know how to operate) I proceeded to tear up my lawn in a failed attempt to dig trenches for the sprinkler lines. I addition, I also broke off my main water line to the house at the meter while attempting to connect the sprinklers to water. What a mess!
Needless to say, I was pretty anxious and discouraged in that moment, and for several moments beyond. I had a hard time seeing past the big expensive-looking mistake I had just made and was worrying about I would get it corrected.
Fortunately, I was able to get things rectified. The plumber came out and fixed the main water line, and a local landscaper came out and took over where I left off. Never before have I been happier to pay for someone’s services! Everything worked out, and before long, my discouragement and frustration were a distant memory.
I think back to my sprinkler event whenever I find myself experiencing a similar “adventure”. This memory is important in that it helps me not to become anxious or fall into needless worry. When I think back now about how much worrying I did over the sprinkler situation, it seems like such a waste of time. I don’t want to waste time like that because it doesn’t achieve anything. Mathew 6:27 sums it up well for me, “Can anyone of you, by worrying, add a single hour to your life?” I know I can’t.
Dale Carnegie also has several good thoughts on worrying. One of my favorites is, “Decide just how much anxiety a thing may be worth and refuse to give it more.” I like the premise in this statement that we decide how much anxiety or worry we give something, and we can choose to give it less.
I hope you’ve got some “adventures” of your own, where in the moment they seemed like such a big deal, but after you worked through them, you now wonder why you worried so much. If you do, use those memories to help regulate your anxiety when the next adventure occurs. We’ve got better things to do with our lives besides parking in worry’s driveway.